It’s About The Journey

Keith PateSince the first of the year, I have committed to make time for my morning walks. I had neglected these walks for some months, and eaten with abandon as the pounds multiplied. As the New Year began, I knew something had to change or I would be buying “another” wardrobe to keep up with my ever expanding waist line. This was not feasible as I already have at least four sizes in my closet or storage bins and can’t afford (monetarily nor physically) to “super-size” again! These walks are not only a benefit to my physical health, they also offer an opportunity to reflect, pray and memorize Scripture.

One of Scriptures I have been studying recently is Isaiah 30:21 (NIV) “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”

My walks each morning, though fairly routine, ordered and structured, are not about the destination as much as the journey. By that I mean, my goal is not to walk from one point to another, but rather… to walk. The exercise and time spent walking are the most crucial factor that will aid my desired outcome (losing weight being a top priority). To lose weight, calories consumed must equal less than what is burned each day in normal activities. Those of you who struggle with weight issues (as I have most of my life) know this sounds simple, but it takes a lot of conviction, dedication, persistence and resolve to make this happen. This time, now a good six weeks into my program, I am tenaciously resolved to make my weight goal a reality!

Our spiritual journey is much like my morning walks, the exercise of self-discipline and self-control are paramount. (“Self-control” – a fruit of the spirit – Galatians 5:22-23). I am learning that I can’t eat everything I see (jokingly I call this my “seefood” diet) and live a healthy lifestyle. I must say “no” to certain foods that pile up the calories and regulate my portion size even on the healthy foods to maintain a properly balanced diet. Is it a struggle? –Absolutely!! Is it getting easier? –Slowly, but well worth the goal. Will I overeat at least once this week?
–Probably, but I resolve to get back on track quickly and not allow this fluctuation to destroy my progress.

Isaiah 30:21 reminds us that there is a voice behind us that guides us. Through New Testament eyes, we understand this to be the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our schoolmaster or instructor that guides or convicts us.

“Be still and know that I am God” – Psalm 46:10 (NIV). We can’t hear His voice when we drown it out with substitutionary things. Find your spot to “be still” and listen. There is a great quote by Corrie ten Boom: “If the devil cannot make us bad, he will make us busy.” Take quiet moments to reflect on God’s goodness and LISTEN to His voice every day. Walking, for me, is an avenue to focus that direction.

One of my favorite hymns by Robert Robinson says it best.
“Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise:

Stanza 3
O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy grace, Lord, like a fetter (chains), bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.”

Prone to wander…yes, we are. Yet, God’s grace is sufficient to give us the victory! God bless you on your journey today!


Keith Pate About Keith Pate

Keith is originally from Castleberry, AL in Conecuh County. He joined Eastern Hills as Minister of Music in January of 2005 from Anastasia Baptist Church in St. Augustine, FL.